The Food Journal and Food, Nutrition & Science

An alliance between The Lempert Report and The Center for Food Integrity

Sustainability Series: Sambazon

Sustainability Series: Sambazon

Sustainability

April 24, 2011

Sambazon started modestly in 2000 with the simple goal of using acaí as a vehicle to promote and further sustainability while providing consumers with healthy, delicious and antioxidant-packed products. Today, the company’s organic juices and smoothies, functional blends, supplements and energy drinks are sold in health food stores, juice bars and conventional grocery stores throughout the U.S. We talked to Jeremy Black, co-founder of Sambazon, about the importance of inspiring entrepreneurs to be socially responsible.

How does your business define sustainability?

Quite simply, to leave things better than how you found them.
 
How are you incorporating sustainable practices into your business?

Sustainability touches all aspects of what Sambazon does. Our biggest effort to date has been to create a Sustainable Supply Chain for acaí in the Amazon Rainforest. Our organic and fair trade partnership with over 10,000 small family farmers helps protect over 1.6 million acres of rainforest land.
 
What are your short term and long term goals?

Currently, we are implementing more eco-friendly packaging for our products, including our juice bottles which now have 40% recycled materials in them. We’re also testing recycled and reuse-able pallet materials and have already implemented an 86% post-consumer recycled content cardboard shipping box that is printed with vegetable based inks. In Brazil, we plan to continue expanding our Sustainable Supply Chain partnership to reach more farmers and help protect more rainforest.
 
Our long term goal is to help demonstrate how Sambazon’s products have brought health and wellness to people and to be a standard of success as a “Triple-Bottom-Line” business. Business combined with democracy can be a powerful tool to promote innovation, social equality, and biodiversity protection and we hope that Sambazon can further this movement.

Where do you think you’ll have the biggest impact?

Our impact is twofold. We’re positively impacting the Amazon region near our Factory and through the tributaries of the river to where our Farmers live. And on the other hand, we’re also positively impacting our end consumers by sharing superfood health and functional nutrition to fit their busy lifestyles.
 
How do you measure your progress?

This varies largely by initiative, but an overall metric we focus on is how much land we have protected through Organic Certification and how many Farmers are under our umbrella of Fair Trade employment.
 
How do retailers factor into your efforts?

Retailers are vital as they are the outpost from which our story gets told to consumers. Our model strongly focuses on “Market Driven Conservation” and so creating a strong demand for our products is vital to ensuring the future of our work in the Amazon.
 
Why are sustainable business practices important to the consumer?

Sustainable business practices ensure that the company is thinking not only about profit, but also the people and planet in which it thrives. A sustainable business has the best long term interests of the consumer in mind.

 

In upcoming issues, we will feature interviews with food companies that are making strides in their sustainability efforts. If you are interested in telling us more about what your company is doing to get involved please contact Allison Bloom atallison@foodnutritionscience.com